Sky Mesa colt romps in Manitoba Derby
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Sky Promise delivered a career-best performance in the $75,000 Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs, rolling to a 7 1/2-length victory to give the 3-year-old Sky Mesa colt his first stakes win.

Sky Promise, who was second in the John Battaglia Memorial S. in March at Turfway Park, upped his earnings to $129,648 with Monday's victory.

Ridden for the first time by Rico Walcott, Sky Promise was in no hurry out of the gate and dropped back to last in the field of eight. It wasn't until there were about three furlongs to run that Walcott asked his colt for run, and Sky Promise took off, flying past horses on the turn and rolling to the lead at the top of the stretch.

He poured it on after that, opening up with every stride to finish the 1 1/8-miles in 1:50 flat on a fast main track.

“(The trainer) told me to take him out chilly (slowly),” said Walcott. “So I took him out chilly and sat at the back. He (Sky Promise) had a lot of heart. I asked for something extra and he gave it to me. This horse has a lot of heart.”

The winner is trained by Robert Diodoro, who claimed Sky Promise for $40,000 out of his last start at Churchill Downs on June 30. He now has one Derby win under his girth and he’s going after another.

"A guy that does a lot of work behind the scenes for us, Cody Autrey, spotted Sky Promise," Diodoro said.

Sky Promise is now headed for the Canadian Derby in Edmonton on Aug. 25. He is one of 10 stakes horses and five stakes winners this year by Sky Mesa.
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